Last Night’s TV – Cougar Town

It was from the lips of nuttier-than-squirrel-poo Steven Baldwin on Celebrity Big Brother that I first heard the term ‘Cougar’, as applied to women of a certain age who like to do the do with men who’re much younger.

So, armed with that knowledge, and knowing that the writer of Cougar Town is Bill Lawrence – who also wrote Scrubs – I thought I knew what to expect of Cougar Town; I thought it would be fast-paced, amusingly anarchic, full of witty one liners and tinged with occasional sad ‘reality check’ moments.

And judging by last night’s pilot episode and the one that followed it, Cougar Town does have all those things, but it felt rather like the whole raison d’être of the show is to be a hybrid of Desperate Housewives and SATC.

There was little that was ‘new’; the clichés were worn, the format was predictable. And though I might have been overreaching in hoping it would be as funny as Scrubs or Friends, it just wasn’t.

And apropos of Friends, I couldn’t get past seeing Courtney Cox as anyone but Monica. In fact, her character, Jules, is – I suspect deliberately – not unlike Monica. Her neuroses and various emotional ‘baggage’ might be those of a middle-aged Monica.

However, though all that sounds rather negative, it was an enjoyable first outing for the show, and I very much enjoyed the character of Travis, played by Dan Byrd. He is Jules’ son and Lawrence has given him some of the wittiest ripostes of the whole shebang.

Also intriguing and funny was Travis’s dad – who is Jules’ ex – Bobby. Bobby is played by Brain Van Holt and again, though we didn’t see nearly enough of him, his character has not only very droll lines, but he had a depth to him that did seem to be lacking in other characters.

So will I be tuning in again? And more importantly, will you? Well, for me, the jury’s still out. I think I need to watch at least two more episodes before I decide if it’s a show I want to see every episode of. Let us know what you thought of it.

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